British, blimey, in Chicago – POLITICO

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With help from Olivia Olander

Good Tuesday morning, Illinois. Election Day is 14 days away.

Karen Pierce, the British ambassador to the United States, was in Chicago on Monday expecting to talk about British lamb with meat importers when across the pond, Rishi Sunak was tapped as the latest prime minister of the United Kingdom.

In an interview with Playbook, Pierce said the new PM will bring a “lasting calm” to a country that’s seen a tumultuous year — from Queen Elizabeth’s jubilee and “sad death” to tumultuous turnovers of prime ministers.

“I think people actually see this as a settling down and getting back on an even track after some fairly interesting and momentous events this year,” Pierce said.

Staying on track: Pierce expects Sunak’s appointment won’t change the good relations Britain has with the U.S. He will be “a friend” of the United States, just as previous PMs have been.

After all, Pierce said, Sunak has a sentimental spot for the United States, having studied at Stanford University and meeting his wife there.

The new PM brings a budgeteer’s expertise to the job that will be welcome to the White House, Pierce said. “He and President Biden share an appreciation of the number of challenges that we have to deal with together, from the cost of living and inflation to helping the Ukrainians defend their sovereignty.”

Sunak, who is Hindu and of Indian descent, is the first person of color to serve as prime minister, and the youngest. He comes to the job after serving as chancellor, an “equivalent” to the U.S. Treasury secretary, Pierce said. So, he has a deep understanding of the “markets” and “trends.”

While she was in Chicago: Pierce spoke privately to a group of power brokers hosted by the Council on Global Affairs. Among the attendees were Gov. JB Pritzker’s chief of staff, Anne Caprara, and Deputy Gov. Christian Mitchell.

Pierce also joined a meat importers conference in Chicago to celebrate the first importing of British lamb to the United States in over two decades. “It’s great news,” she said, “And, hopefully, it will lead to lots of sales and you’ll get lamb more cheaply.”

REMEMBER 2016: Pennsylvania Democrat John Fetterman takes the debate stage tonight against Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz, and we can’t help thinking of the Illinois Senate race six years ago.

That’s when former Republican Sen. Mark Kirk squared off against Democrat Tammy Duckworth in two debates. Kirk was an inspiration for taking the stage, having survived a stroke a few years earlier.

But he stumbled in the first debate. And in the second, he questioned Duckworth’s patriotism, seemingly because of her ethnicity. Was it a gaffe because of his stroke? Or just a gaffe?

Fast forward to tonight when Pennsylvania voters will similarly be zeroing in on Fetterman’s every word, paus and possible gaffe after his own stroke earlier this year.

And they’ll be watching Oz, too. After all, it was the TV doctor who made fun of Fetterman, saying if he had eaten more vegetables, “maybe he wouldn’t have had a major stroke.”

If you are Mark Kirk, Playbook would like to get your insight on tonight’s debate. Email skapos@politico.com.

Have a news tip, suggestion, birthday, anniversary, new job, or any other nugget for Playbook? I’d like to hear from you: skapos@politico.com

At the CSX Forest Hill Railroad Yard in Chicago at 10:30 a.m. with federal, state and local officials for a groundbreaking of the largest construction project by the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency program. — At 3 p.m. on the campaign trail in Rock Island with IL-17 candidate Eric Sorensen.

At the railyard with the governor at 10:30 a.m.

At the railyard with the governor at 10:30 a.m.

Abortion v. Mike Madigan? Democrats and Republicans play hole cards in high-stakes battle for control of state Supreme Court: “It wasn’t really possible for Democrats to draw the new state Supreme Court map in a way that would have assured them of winning one of the seats on the November ballot, as would have been their normal tendency. Instead, both seats are in play,” by Sun-Times’ Mark Brown.

— RELATED: In highly political, richly funded contests for Illinois Supreme Court majority, pledges of impartiality stir skepticism, by Tribune’s John Keilman

—  The Illinois governor’s race is the most expensive in the country, notes NewsNation.

— In IL-06, Democratic Rep. Sean Casten has released a new TV ad titled “It Could Happen Here.” It focuses on abortion and criticizes his opponent, Republican Keith Pekau. POLITICO’s’ Forecast 2022 has moved the race from “likely Democrat” to “lean Democrat.”

— In IL-11, Republican Catalina Lauf has been endorsed by the National Federation of Independent Business, a national small business advocacy organization. Lauf talks on the campaign about starting her own small business with her sister at their kitchen table.

Heated race for Decatur-Springfield state Senate seat: The contest between incumbent state Sen. Doris Turner, D-Springfield, and state Rep. Sandy Hamilton, R-Springfield, started in the high school gymnasium. Hamilton was the longtime head volleyball coach at Sacred Heart-Griffin High School. Turner’s son, Blake, is the head basketball coach at Lanphier High School. “But the race between the two lawmakers, each appointed to their respective offices in 2021, has morphed into far more than a rivalry over intercity high school allegiances,” writes Lee Enterprises’ Brenden Moore.

Big-money race for DuPage County Board chair kicks into high gear: “State Rep. Deb Conroy is trying to become the first Democrat and the first woman to take the county board gavel. Her opponent, Greg Hart, has positioned himself as a rising star in county Republican politics,” by Daily Herald’s Katlyn Smith.

Will Cook County voters back higher taxes for forest preserves? Tribune’s A.D. Quig reports

— Media outlets wrapping up endorsements. Tribune’s endorsements here. Daily Herald endorsements here.

American test scores prompt ‘a moment of truth’ for schools: Illinois math scores dropped by seven points, reports POLITICO’s Juan Perez Jr.

But … State school report card shows signs of student growth: "Proficiency rates are still not at pre-pandemic levels, but the growth shows us we are absolutely on the right track," State Superintendent of Education Carmen Ayala says. Daily Herald’s Alicia Fabbre reports

State reports 65 new ‘mild’ cases of Covid-19 at LaSalle Veterans’ Home, site of deadly outbreak two years ago:The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs said 23 staff and 42 residents have tested positive for COVID-19 at the Illinois Veterans’ Home at LaSalle. No one has required hospitalization,” by Sun-Ties’ Tina Sfondeles.

Illinois’ clean energy jobs grew by 5 percent in 2021: “Jobs in clean energy — such as installing solar panel arrays, recycling lithium-ion battery modules and planning electric vehicle charging infrastructure — grew by more than 5,000 in Illinois last year, according to a recent report,” by Daily Herald’s Jenny Whidden.

Illinois to reopen mortgage assistance program: The Illinois Homeowner Assistance Fund resumes Nov. 1, explains State Journal-Register’s Patrick Keck.

— PAUSED: For the second consecutive day, Chicago didn’t see any new immigrants arrive, according to the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services. A total of 3,639 asylum-seekers have been bused to Illinois from Texas since Aug. 31.

Lightfoot asks Council members to identify vacant warehouses, big box stores to shelter immigrants arriving from Texas, by WTTW’s Heather Cherone

As Chicago budget hearings end, ratings agency gives Lightfoot’s spending plan a seal of approval: “Fitch, one of a handful of major ratings agencies, upgraded Chicago’s credit one notch to BBB with a positive outlook. That will likely boost efforts by Lightfoot to convince Chicago City Council members to support her budget, which she hopes to pass on Nov. 7,” by WTTW’s Heather Cherone.

— A WIN FOR DA BEARS: Justin Fields and the Bears find a game plan to build upon after 10 days of preparation, by Tribune’s Colleen Kane

Chicago officials are pitching the city’s first comprehensive plan in  60 years. Is it the key to equitable growth? by Block Club’s Maxwell Evans

Brighton Park latest spot for deadly drag racing trend that lawmakers, police are attempting to curb, by Tribune’s Alice Yin and Paige Fry

Union League Boys & Girls Clubs will use $5M to expand inroads made in Englewood schools, by Tribune’s Darcel Rockett

CPS wants to take over Urban Prep Academies: It’s an “unprecedented move to wrest control from its troubled leaders while trying not to displace students,” reports WBEZ’s Sarah Karp.

A Chicago man quietly left behind $11M — the largest unclaimed estate in American history: “The $11 million estate of Joseph Stancak of Gage Park will be divided among 119 distant relatives, officials said,” by Block Club’s Mack Liederman

— RATS: Chicago rattier than N.Y., according to new pest control rankings, via USA Today

With coaxing from former City Council colleague Richard Mell, Ald. Tom Tunney warms to joining crowded mayor’s race, by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman

After scandals, Proco Joe Moreno wants a shot at political redemption. Will 1st Ward voters give it to him? by Block Club’s Quinn Myers

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx says office making strides in hiring: She told Cook County Board commissioners she’s been “aggressively” hiring new prosecutors, poaching civil attorneys and that “we have continued to bring in new staff on a fairly regular clip.” Tribune’s A.D. Quig reports.

Dolton voters lament missing pols, growing crime, empty storefronts: ‘It’s like a ghost town,’ David Struett writes for Sun-Times’ Pulse of the Heartland series

McHenry mayor dealing with fallout from Proud Boys founder’s scheduled appearance, by Shaw Media’s Aaron Dorman

Embattled U. of I. Springfield provost Dennis Papini resigns, by State Journal-Register’s Steven Spearie

We asked what you learned from working on a losing campaign:

Thomas Day, who lost a 2016 Democratic congressional primary race: “I learned that campaigning for a public office is about team building and reflecting the goals and aspirations of the people you wish to represent — not one’s self-perceived merit. And I learned the hard way!”

Rev. Dr. William E. Crowder Jr., who worked on Richard Boykin’s 2018 reelection campaign to the Cook County Board: “Don’t be overconfident. You can’t have too many cooks in the kitchen. Get your messaging together. And don’t run scared but run like you’re behind.”

Ed Mazur, who supported the late state Sen. Howard Carroll to succeed then-retiring Congressman Sidney Yates in 1998. The other primary candidates were Jan Schakowsky and JB Pritzker. “I learned that you can make lifelong friends with the winners even if your candidate didn’t cross the finish line. Jan (who won the race) has become a good friend.”

Phil Zeni, who was a college student when he worked on Barry Goldwater’s 1964 run for president: “Truth and reality are not enough to win, so do whatever it takes because the opposition will.”

The Shedd Aquarium has asked for help in naming its new sea otter, writes the Tribune’s Tatyana Turner reports. What’s a political name for the furry friend? Email skapos@politico.com

DeSantis, in testy debate with Dem rival, sidesteps 2024 question, by POLITICO’s Gary Fineout

Biden admin set to warn about threats to nation’s election infrastructure, by POLITICO’s Erin Banco and 

Corporate America lobbies up in support of same-sex marriage, by POLITICO’s Hailey Fuchs

— Josué Ortiz will be director of digital strategy for Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot. And Dora Meza will be deputy director of digital strategy. Ortiz and Meza joined the Lightfoot Administration earlier this year as deputy director and social media strategist, respectively.

— Today at 11:30 a.m.: A discussion on criminal justice reform during a fundraising luncheon for Chicago Appleseed Center for Fair Courts. Panelists: Smart Decarceration Project Director Matt Epperson, law and justice assistant professor Julian Thompson and Appleseed board member Garien Gatewood. Journalist Laura Washington moderates. Details here

— Thursday: Barrington Township Republican Organization town hall featuring candidates Darren Bailey (running for governor), Kathy Salvi (Senate), Tom DeVore (attorney general), Dan Brady (secretary of state) and numerous others. Details here

MONDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to Elizabeth Grisanzio and Roger Claar (the former mayor of Bolingbrook!) for correctly answering that the dining room at Bolingbrook Golf Club is named for Kirk Dillard, chairman of the Regional Transit Authority and a former state senator.

TODAY’s QUESTION: Who is the longest serving DuPage County Board chair?  Email skapos@politico.com

State Sen. Brian Stewart, Appellate Court Judge Jesse Reyes and former Ald. Brian Doherty. 

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October 25, 2022 at 07:10AM

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